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Old 02-22-2013, 12:50 PM
 
Location: So Cal
24,865 posts, read 18,618,605 times
Reputation: 23377

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As the title of the thread suggests, it just doesn't always pay to be completely honest.

I've always been completely honest in terms of dealing with people. It seesm as the older I get sometimes is just gives you more grief than necessary.

I'm mostly talking about situations with work or friends, not so much with you're wife or husband.

I find that if things arise at work or I'm placed in impossible situations or things that I know isn't going to work, for whatever reason, I find that now just straight out lying about it and doing the mea culpa's later seem to save you more grief.

Everytime I say no... no that won't work or can't happen cause of x,y, or z I find that you get more grief about it, "why, why can't this happen," etc etc.

I find if I just play the 'team player' and say "sure, we'll get her done, no problem." Then of course it doesn't happen, it's easier to say, oh,sorry, we missed the deadline cause of this or that, seems to go over better, and with much less hassles and headaches.

Same with telling white lies to people to avoid hurting their feelings... or whatever the situation is.


This bothers me a lot, it makes me feel like I'm not being sincere or true to what I believe in... I don't know if this is making any sense or not....

There are a million other example I can think of, but these are a couple that come to mind.

So, what do you people think???
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
13,119 posts, read 10,615,535 times
Reputation: 20277
I don't know that this applies to you, Chow, since you've always been one of the most level-headed people on this board, but a lot of times people confuse being honest and being real with being tactless and rude. A friend I admire follows the rule of not saying anything unless it's true, helpful, and kind. Sometimes for the good of everyone involved you don't say what you're really thinking, and it's not because you're lying, it's because you just need to grease the wheels a bit and avoid conflict.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
35,458 posts, read 43,142,431 times
Reputation: 19765
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleetiebelle View Post
I don't know that this applies to you, Chow, since you've always been one of the most level-headed people on this board, but a lot of times people confuse being honest and being real with being tactless and rude. A friend I admire follows the rule of not saying anything unless it's true, helpful, and kind. Sometimes for the good of everyone involved, you don't say what you're really thinking, and it's not because you're lying, it's because you just need to grease the wheels a bit.
^ ^ ^ Exactly what I was thinking, only you expressed it better than I could have!
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Canada
1,169 posts, read 632,823 times
Reputation: 2068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chowhound View Post
Everytime I say no... no that won't work or can't happen cause of x,y, or z I find that you get more grief about it, "why, why can't this happen," etc etc.

I find if I just play the 'team player' and say "sure, we'll get her done, no problem." Then of course it doesn't happen, it's easier to say, oh,sorry, we missed the deadline cause of this or that, seems to go over better, and with much less hassles and headaches.
A boss doesn't want to hear about problems. He/she wants to hear solutions. Perhaps the reasons you give for not being able to meet a deadline are perceived as excuses. Trying thinking about possible solutions before you voice the problems.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:47 PM
 
Location: SoCal
4,441 posts, read 4,026,015 times
Reputation: 2896
Ugh! I *hate* providing time estimates. And as an engineer, I am regularly asked for them.

Someone proposed a thought game:

What is the best possible set of events to get to the deadline? How soon would that happen? How likely is that to happen?

What is the worst possible set of events to get to the deadline? How long would that take? How likely is that to happen?

Then start moving inward from those two extremes, and find a "good enough" estimate.

White lies to people to avoid hurting their feelings is a completely different thing. If what you would otherwise say is going to hurt their feelings, then why are you saying it? Maybe you are being a little too "honest" and really shouldn't be saying it at all.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:31 AM
 
25,116 posts, read 26,902,286 times
Reputation: 34227
I am in a deadline-driven business myself. And I am known as a guy who meets his obligations, even if it means pulling an all-nighter to do it.

That being said, I never allow someone to dictate a deadline to me and make it my problem. In that sense, shooting straight is always a good idea. For example, I am working on a crash project right now with a March 1st deadline. As I told my client, "If all goes according to plan, we'll make this deadline. But that means you have to do your part. I need approvals on the same day. When I need information or files, I need them posthaste. Not hitting these deadlines means I won't hit yours."

Then it doesn't become my problem. It becomes our problem. It's really all about managing the expectations of others. Sometimes it requires a little diplomacy, but it's really the best way to ensure that everybody understands his or her role in matters.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
5,218 posts, read 4,465,528 times
Reputation: 8042
Well of course. You're not going to tell someone their new haircut looks really stupid or their life sucks. It's not lying, it's being kind. Of course if someone has self destructive behavior, then by all means be honest.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
2,990 posts, read 3,410,905 times
Reputation: 2652
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
Well of course. You're not going to tell someone their new haircut looks really stupid or their life sucks. It's not lying, it's being kind.
So, you think it's more 'kind' to let them continue looking like a fool?
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Canada
1,169 posts, read 632,823 times
Reputation: 2068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
So, you think it's more 'kind' to let them continue looking like a fool?
If the hair is cut they can't magically grow it back because you say the haircut sucks. So what's the point in making a derogatory remark about it? It's rude and it's none of your business. If the person loses the respect of friends because of something as trivial as his haircut, I'd say no great loss.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:36 AM
 
47,586 posts, read 35,330,208 times
Reputation: 21573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chowhound View Post
As the title of the thread suggests, it just doesn't always pay to be completely honest.

I've always been completely honest in terms of dealing with people. It seesm as the older I get sometimes is just gives you more grief than necessary.

I'm mostly talking about situations with work or friends, not so much with you're wife or husband.

I find that if things arise at work or I'm placed in impossible situations or things that I know isn't going to work, for whatever reason, I find that now just straight out lying about it and doing the mea culpa's later seem to save you more grief.

Everytime I say no... no that won't work or can't happen cause of x,y, or z I find that you get more grief about it, "why, why can't this happen," etc etc.

I find if I just play the 'team player' and say "sure, we'll get her done, no problem." Then of course it doesn't happen, it's easier to say, oh,sorry, we missed the deadline cause of this or that, seems to go over better, and with much less hassles and headaches.

Same with telling white lies to people to avoid hurting their feelings... or whatever the situation is.


This bothers me a lot, it makes me feel like I'm not being sincere or true to what I believe in... I don't know if this is making any sense or not....

There are a million other example I can think of, but these are a couple that come to mind.

So, what do you people think???
Yes it's the way corporate America is. I think you have to see it in a different way -- they aren't paying you to be honest, they're paying you to play their game.

Where I work, the top wants overtime cut but they don't really need to see it cut, all they really want are "explanations" which can amount to anything, certain employees continually pad their pay check with overtime and supervisors simply make up reasons and the top is happy. Someone who really controls the overtime isn't going to be any better off than someone who didn't.

It's like that old "perception is reality" that they sometimes throw at you in management courses. First you reject that because you think reality is reality but eventually you get with the program and realize that perception is reality. That's important in dealing with harassment issues. Jokes are no longer jokes, compliments are no longer compliments, all that matter is what's in the mind of the beholder, what they perceive or what they can claim to have perceived.

That's also important with customer issues, the customer is always right even if the customer is dead wrong. And very important when it comes to those in high places who really appreciate brown nosers the most.

So yes, honesty in the current-day workplace is not the right policy. Just remember, they're not paying you for your honesty, they're paying you for how you play the game.
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